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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- California marijuana legalization efforts took a step back as proponents of what is seen as the ballot initiative with the best shot at success decided to call off their signature drive ahead of an April 18 deadline.

The Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act would have allowed anyone over 21 to grow, own or give away up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to four plants for personal use.

But backers of the proposal told The Los Angeles Times they lacked sufficient funding and would focus instead on getting a proposal on statewide ballots in 2016.

While at least two other marijuana legalization initiatives are circulating, they lack the high-profile backing of this one. Supporters for the Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act included the George Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), and an organization put in place by the late billionaire Peter Lewis, according to the Times report. The DPA didn't immediately respond to an email message. Jesse Mainardi, who was an attorney with the Sutton Law Firm in December when he was listed on the proposed legislation as the main contact for the measure, is no longer at that firm, according to a voice message there.

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